South Cronulla Beach
Don’t let the name put you off, the Shark Island Swim is a magnificent journey swim around a tiny island tucked around the headland south of Cronulla Beach.
The Shark Island Swim is a classic swim to add to your ocean swims bucket list. There are a few other swims that call themselves a ‘classic’, but only a few can really claim, like this swim.
The first Shark Island Swim was run back in 1988 and was one of the first ocean swims to offer two swim distances.
The event takes place south of Cronulla Beach, which is a 40-minute drive from Sydney’s CBD.
This ocean swim offers two different swim distances; a 1km ocean swim option and the main event a 2.3km ocean swim.
The two different swim distance options make this ocean swim event perfect for families and those new to ocean swimming while still looking after the ocean swim enthusiasts.
The 1km ocean swim doesn’t round the island, but if you look south as you swim out to your turning buoy you will get a glimpse of the waves lapping against the rocky reef surrounding the island.
The 1km ocean swim follows a simple triangle shaped course starting from the front of the surf club and heading out through the breakers and around the two buoys directly off the club. Once around the buoys, you will head left and swim clockwise until you end up back at the beach surrounded by the applause of the cheering crowd on the beach.
Don’t let the name put you off, main swim event is not with (dangerous) sharks but rather the 2.3km ocean swim starts on the beach before heading out through the breakers out and around Shark Island clockwise and back into the beach for the finish line.
With a beach vibe and an outdoor lifestyle, Cronulla is a laid back area with loads of things to do.
The outdoor cafe scene offers a great vantage point where you may be able to spot dolphins (or even whales) popping up in the adjoining waters. Sealevel is one of the most popular restaurants near the beach, Bread & Stone offer a healthy yet wallet-friendly breakfast and Grind Espresso, down a little laneway, is hugely popular with the locals.
Just south of Cronulla lies the peaceful village of Bundeena, accessible via a ferry ride across the Port Hacking River. The ferry will allow you to explore one of Sydney's unspoiled waterways on a three-hour cruise where you can learn about early explorers of the district, local Aboriginal sites and culture, historical settlements and deer farming in the nearby reserve.
It's perhaps the Shire's greatest asset... free beach parking! As per usual, you need to either get there early or chance your luck later in the morning.
The train goes all the way to Cronulla beach, so that's a legitimate option - after a long day in the Shire, you'll be sleeping on the 1-hour journey back to the city.
1km & 2.3km
8.30am - 1km
11.00 - 2.3km (Shark Island)
2.3km - 13-years and over, 1km - 10-years and over
For official event information, including prizes, swimsuit policy, and safety, please visit the official event website.